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NIU gets just what it needs

Chandler Harnish threw for 187 yards two touchdowns ran for 118 yards one touchdown against Cal Poly. | NIU photo

Chandler Harnish threw for 187 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 118 yards and one touchdown against Cal Poly. | NIU photo

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Updated: December 1, 2011 5:27AM

DEKALB, Ill. — After the last two games, Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren needed something sweet, and that’s exactly what he got in the Huskies’ 47-30 victory over Cal Poly on Saturday at Huskie Stadium.

“We were anxious to get the sour taste from two tough losses out of our mouths and get that winning taste back,” Doeren said. “We came out fast with lots of good energy on both sides of the ball. We ran the ball well, tackled better, and our defense was better getting us off the field after nine out of 12 third-down plays. It was a good day for everybody.”

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak, during which NIU
(2-2) gave up 94 points.

Quarterback Chandler Harnish completed 18 of 21 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 118 yards and another touchdown.

His three total touchdowns gave him 67 for his career (49 by pass, 18 by run), setting a Huskies record. Quarterback George Bork, a College Football Hall of Famer, held the old mark of 65 (60 by pass, five by run) for 48 years.

“I’m very proud, although I think George might be a little upset with me,” Harnish said. “He was a great player and a great legend here, and he’ll never be forgotten.”

Running back Jasmin Hopkins ran for a career-high 143 yards on 22 carries and scored a career-high two touchdowns.

It marked the first time two NIU players ran for more than 100 yards in one game since backup quarterback Jordan Lynch ran for 142 yards and Hopkins ran for 102 yards in a 71-3 rout of Eastern Michigan last season.

The Huskies iced the game early, building a 27-0 lead in the second quarter. Their defense didn’t allow the Mustangs (1-3) to get their first first down until Mark Rodgers ran for 27 yards with 11:47 left in the half.

The Mustangs got on the board on quarterback Andre Broadous’ two-yard run with 5:39 left in the half. A three-yard touchdown catch by wide receiver Perez Ashford extended NIU’s lead to 34-7 at halftime. Cal Poly never got closer than 16 points thereafter.

Thanks primarily to 355 rushing yards, the Huskies finished with 542 yards of offense. Cal Poly had 369 yards, with Broadous rushing for a team-high 103 yards.

“Once they established their ­running game, got into a pace they were comfortable with and grabbed a big lead, that was the ballgame,” Mustang coach Tim Walsh said. “Their pace was faster than we expected. We couldn’t adjust to that until the second half, when we played better.”

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